In an effort to celebrate diversity, the role of Joan of Arc was played by a black teen during Tuesday’s celebrations in the city of Orleans.
Mathilde Edey Gamassou, of Benine and Polish heritage, was chosen last February to play the role of Joan of Arc for the annual Orlean’s traditional Johanniques Celebrations. After her performance, she was saluted in person by Edouard Philipe, the French Prime Minister.
— France Bleu Orleans (@FBOrleans) May 9, 2018
But for France’s mainstream media this clearly wasn’t enough diversity. In a TV debate later that day, the editor in chief for left-leaning news outlet Marianne, Périco Legasse, said that “one day hopefully Joan of Arc will be played by a Muslim woman”.
A complete historical inaccuracy as Joan of Arc fought for France’s freedom, was born in a Catholic family and was canonised as a Roman Catholic saint.
In February this year, when Gamassou was nominated for her role, the decision drew controversy due to the lack of historical accuracy as well.
Joan of Arc was obviously white; she was born to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romée, a peasant, Roman Catholic, family, at Domrémy in North-East France.
In entertainment, as we have seen with the BBC’s ”Troy: Fall of a City”, when it comes to a choice between genuine, historical accuracy, or the promotion of diversity, the latter always seems to win.